Newmont Ghana has earmarked 300,000 dollars to train selected illegal miners under its Artisanal Small-scale Mining (ASM) alternative livelihood training programme.The implementation of the programme comes on the back of a series of discussions between Newmont Ghana and stakeholders after an Artisanal small-scale Mining (ASM) baseline and impact assessment study indicated most of the illegal miners want to opt-out if they have a different employment avenue to earn a living.
The pilot programme is, therefore, aimed at providing the trainees with a meaningful, decent and viable alternative to illegal mining (Galamsey).The 24 pioneer trainees, including four females, would be trained in welding and fabrication for three months by an internationally certified training institution – CPI in Tema.
The trainees, selected from nine communities including, Adrobaa, Afrisipa, Terchire, Susuanso, Wamahinso, Gyedu, Ntortroso, and Kenyasi 1 and 2, would also be supported with a monthly stipend for the training.
“This training initiative is targeted at only community members engaged in the ASM value chain within the Ahafo concessions and does not guarantee automatic employment with Newmont”, Madam Adiki Ayitivie, the Vice President of Newmont Ghana for Sustainability and External Relations, said at the launch of the training program at Kenyasi in the Asutifi North District of the Ahafo Region.
According to Madam Ayitivie, the trainees would have the opportunities to do industrial training for three months. “The trainees would do a three-month industrial and we hope that they would get opportunities to work with companies who do welding and fabrication”, she said.
Newmont Ghana is also talking to its contractors to see those who can engage the trainees.“If this doesn’t work, we would talk to the local government officials to think about setting up an industrial park, equipping them so that they can create their work while looking for other people to support them”, Madam Ayitivie said.
“Once the pilot program is successful, we would make it a regional program that will extend to the Akyem mining host communities”, she added.
LOCAL ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION SUPPORT PROGRAMME
Newmont Ghana is already running a programme called Local Economic Diversification Support Program, where the company is integrating the youths and the illegal miners into the Agri-business project (ABP).
Madam Ayitivie said the continuous collaboration with the local government authorities would ensure a sustainable alternative livelihood to ensure that the youth do not return to illegal mining activities.
The Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr George Boakye, commended Newmont Ghana for the initiative to fight the galamsey.He advised the trainees to make the most out of the lifetime opportunity offered to equip them with employable skills.“I urge you to be serious with your training because with such skill sets, you can make meaningful contributions to the development of the district and the country”, the minister said.
According to the minister, as part of the government’s quest to improve technical and vocational skills in the country, Technical and Vocational Education and Training TVET has been included in the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).
He said the government will soon begin the construction of technical institutes in the country to boost technical education in the country.Mr Yaw Boakye indicated that TVET is the best vehicle the government has devised to produce an educated and skilled workforce in the country.
The Chief of Kenyasi No. 1 Barima Osei Kofi Abri II, was optimistic that the programme would provide a good option for illegal miners to work and support themselves and their families.
He, therefore, urged Newmont Ghana to assist the trainees to secure jobs after the training or support them with capital for them to establish themselves. He advised the trainees to take advantage of the opportunity given them.Read Full Story